Suicide the likely cause of the LAM Mozambique airlines crash

by Geoffrey Thomas
December 23, 2013

According to the Aviation Herald it appears the captain of  LAM Mozambique Airlines flight 470 deliberately crashed the  aircraft into the Bwabwata National Park killing all 28 passengers and 6 crew on board.

The aircraft was operating flight TM 470 from Maputo International Airport to Luanda, the Angolan capital on Friday November 29th.  The aircraft, a 90-passenger ERJ190 took off at 11:26am Friday, November 29 and was due to arrive at 1410.

Whilst the preliminary report has not yet been released Aviation Herald reports the following:

On Dec 21st 2013 Mozambique’s Civil Aviation Authority reported in a press conference that the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder revealed that the captain was alone on the flight deck at the time of the acident. Banging on the flight deck door could be heard on the cockpit voice recorder. The autoflight systems (autothrottle and autopilot) were engaged. There were sounds and clicks consistent with a person knowledgeable of the aircraft systems commanding the engines to idle thrust and selecting the autoflight systems into a descent at 6000 feet per minute. Numerous warnings and alerts were not responded to.

LAM carried a four-star safety rating from but were downgraded to three immediately after the accident